Peterik & Scherer - Risk Everything

Jim Peterik & Marc Scherer Risk Everything cover
Peterik & Scherer
Risk Everything
Frontiers Music Srl
2015
7.5
Everyone knows who Jim Peterik is, if you don’t just google him... (Grammy winner, Survivor/Ides Of March founding member and celebrated 80s songwriter) but Marc Scherer is a relative unknown who had given up on singing and had a career as a jeweler (!) all these years. At any rate he did return to singing in his mid’s and was supposed to demo some tunes for one of Peterik’s projects. It turned out that Peterik was so taken with Scherer’s performances that decided to actually upgrade him from a backing singer to a lead man and write an album around his talents, even plucking a song intended for another of Peterik’s main projects to be used for this “album”.
 
It’s true that Scherer has a voice that’s quite “80s” anthem oriented, good range, passionate mid-hi’s and some decent presence on the low end... not sounding hollow, even though it’s not exactly his forte.
 
Think of strong Survivor vibes and bits of “Pride Of Lions”, but still, a new voice, gives these songs a bit of their “own” identity.
 
“Risk Everything” opens with and uplifting intro with some chords repeating, before it explodes into an AOR/HR firework, with a strong rhythmical base and some great verses leading to a perfect towering chorus. Peterik at his best.
 
“Chance of a Lifetime” is very much, prime time Survivor, great keys – uplifting melodies, excellent vocals.
 
“Cold Blooded” might have a cliché as hell title and sounds the part, but is someone told you, this was a lost, Survivor song, you’d not have a hard time believing him. It’s so 80s, that it would feel at home in an episode of “Miami Vice” (the series).
 
“Desperate in Love” is one of those “mastercrafted” Peterik ballads, that however, just jumps into high gear, melodic rock, after its first minute, in quite a sudden burst that got me a bit by surprise.
 
“Thee Crescendo” is very theatrical, almost feels a bit like a more pompous Styx in places, even Scherer, sounds a lot more motivated, in his singing... and I am guessing it’s a bit of a hit or miss if you are gonna like it’s over the top, approach. I must admit that after being impressed, I got a bit tired at all the histrionics thrown in there...
 
“The Dying of the Light” is a dramatic rocker, more akin to Peterik’s latter works, not bad, but mostly interesting because of Scherer’s performance, rather than its songwriting.
 
Then the tempo slows down for a “big ballad”. “How Long is a Moment” again allows Scherer to show off; but really lacks the substance that would make it a classic.
 
“Brand New Heart” is more modern melodic rock and would have felt right in an album of, or might indeed have been originally intended for Pride Of Lions, it has that sort of immediacy and vibe, plus, it pushes shearer to use the fuller “body” of his voice.
 
“Broken Home” is a lot moodier, as its subject matter has to do with children from broken families, that end up suffering for that. It’s slower and darker, with the occasional female backing on the verses. Pretty ‘eavy stuff… and Scherer, puts in a pretty amazing performance.
 
“Milestones” is a typical mid tempo AOR, which keeps you guessing on when the chorus would come and when it actually does, it soars and towers above the verses, quite impressively.
 
Last but not least, “Independence Day” feels like a smooth, mildly anthemic tune that takes a hint from all of Peterik’s previous works and updates in for today.
 
Solid if not predictable songwriting plus a great vocalist, are sure to cater to all the fans of Peterik and Survivor who are likely to eat this right up. Mission accomplished.